EXCLUSIVE: Harlots Commissioner Victoria Fea has established a new production company with The Catch producer and Orange Is The New Black director Julie Anne Robinson after leaving British broadcaster ITV.
The pair have established Blue Jar Pictures, backed by entrepreneur David Wong, to produce “mainstream” series for U.S. and UK networks.
Fea, who has also commissioned series including Anna Friel-fronted crime drama Marcella, period drama Victoria and cop drama Unforgotten, has been with the broadcaster for eight years. She joined from Line Of Duty producer World Productions, where she worked on series including BBC drama Waking The Dead.
Robinson will continue to run her Canny Lads Productions shingle, which signed a two-year overall deal with Universal TV in May 2017. She has recently sold a number of projects including high-stakes crime drama Capital with Carol Mendelsohn and a political murder mystery drama with The Art of More creator Chuck Rose, both to NBC. She has previously directed episodes of Masters of Sex, Nurse Jackie, Grace and Frankie, Castle Rock, Parks and Recreation and The Good Place.
“We want to celebrate the mainstream, knowing that excellence and populism can go hand-in-hand. We are passionate about putting diversity into the heartland of the TV and streaming landscapes. Using our combined talent relationships, we’d like to bring together the most exciting voices to make relevant, distinctive and accessible shows,” said Fea.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time at ITV, and feel very lucky to have worked at the home of popular entertainment for so long. It’s been a joy. But when Julie Anne asked me to join her in setting up Blue Jar Pictures I couldn’t resist. She’s a unique talent, with a formidable track record in developing and directing drama and comedy both in the UK and U.S.”
Robinson added, “I was really keen to develop projects back home in the UK too. I’m thrilled that Victoria and I will be able to combine our talent relationships on either side of the Atlantic. Between us we have many years’ experience developing, directing, producing and commissioning drama on network television. We intend to use this to create a fresh and inspiring slate and can’t wait to get started.”
ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill said, “Victoria has been an integral part of ITV drama and I want to thank her for all the incredible work she has done here. Personally, I will miss her, and have loved working with her, but I respect her need to try something new. I know she will make a great success of it and we all wish her the best of luck in the future.”